Heavy Isn’t Healthy for People or Pets
Carrying around extra weight is as big of a deal for your pet as it is for you. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, up to 60 percent of all adult dogs are overweight or likely to get that way due to age or activity level.
You might think that a couple of extra pounds on your pup isn’t a big deal, but you’d be wrong. An extra five pounds on a dog that should weigh 17 pounds is similar to an extra 50 pounds on a person who should weigh 170 pounds. Helping your dog lose a few pounds will greatly improve his overall health. Obesity is associated with heart and respiratory problems, diabetes, skeletal stress, and gastrointestinal disorders in pets.
Often our pets get a little pudgy because we love them so much. We love them, so we share our food with them. We love them, so we feed them whenever they look hungry. We love them, so we give them snacks or treats throughout the day. These nice but dangerous feeding habits can lead to extra pounds on your pet.
Weight problems can also go hand-in-hand with inactive lifestyles. Animals carrying a heavy load have an increased likelihood of tearing ligaments and wearing down joints. When their joints become damaged and painful, animals don’t want to exercise, which then adds to their weight problems. This is especially a problem with older dogs.
You can help your dog’s health by enjoying a daily activity with him. Start by choosing one activity such as a daily walk. To keep it interesting for you both, vary the route and location. As your dog becomes more fit, you can add other activities such as swimming or a variety of games.
If you think your dog may be overweight, check with your veterinarian, who can give you advice on a proper diet and exercise program. A number of veterinary hospitals now offer the SLIMFIT Program custom designed for you and your pet.
Your veterinary team will help you assess and score your dog’s body condition. Once your veterinarian rules out any medical factors that may cause weight gain, a SLIMFIT weight loss program is designed specifically for your pet. Not only will the most appropriate diet and feeding amounts be provided, but additional nutrition and exercise tips that will work with your lifestyle will be suggested so that you can best help your pet achieve an ideal weight.
One of the key factors to the program will be the regular weigh-in schedule your veterinary team will recommend. The diet selected will be important and your veterinary team will consider your pet’s activity level, any existing medical conditions, taste, preference of moist or dry, and the right balance of lower fat, protein levels and fibre content.